After seven months of investigation, The Commission on College Basketball - led by Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - released its recommendations for the NCAA following the FBI pay-for-player scandal that hit schools across the country, including the University of Louisville.
But the thing is, the NCAA can't make that change.
"The problems in college basketball are complex". "We will now engage with our membership in evaluating the Commission's proposals and providing constructive feedback to support the Division I Board of Directors decision making process".
More substantively, the commission wants the NCAA to alter course and allow players who declare for the draft but are not selected to remain eligible for college basketball until they sign a pro contract.
Jerry Meyer, a recruiting analyst for 247 Sports, reacted to the commission's recommendations with a shrug. It called the environment surrounding hoops "a toxic mix of perverse incentives to cheat", and said responsibility for the current mess goes all the way up to university presidents. Federal prosecutors in NY filed three complaints detailing various schemes, including one in which top high school prospects' families were bribed and another where assistant coaches accepted money to steer their players toward a specific agent or money manager.
The Commission said: "The corruption we observe in college basketball has its roots in youth basketball".
Rice expressed approval for providing athletes with a cut of the commercial use of their names, images and likenesses, which is now before the courts. "I don't want Mike or the University bidding on a player". The one-and-done rule was implemented in 2006, despite the success of straight-from-high-school stars such as LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. Last week, Bowen declared for the National Basketball Association draft - but he did so without hiring an agent, leaving him a chance to play in college. "They shouldn't force you to go to school for the time they say". On draft eligibility rules, however, there was no commitment.
"One of the things I admire so much about the Masters is they do not over-commercialize it", he said. Among the possible options for the NCAA include making freshman ineligible or locking a scholarship for three to four years if a player leaves college after one year. Instead, the commission insists on withholding the amateur model, or as Rice told The Athletic, the "collegiate model". Level I violations would be punishable with up to a five-year postseason ban and the forfeiture of all postseason revenue for the time of the ban. "You're competing against another school and you heard it when the Federal Bureau of Investigation thing hit, some coaches are really frustrated that they knew for years other schools aren't playing by the same rules, but in the court of public opinion they get compared to them and their jobs are on the line".
One of the chief issues presented in Rices report is college basketballs heavily-scrutinized one-and-done rule. The deterrents sometimes aren't as effective as they need to be.
- Allow and encourage access to certified agents to high school and college players to help athletes and their families make more informed choices about professional opportunities.
"We don't believe that the NCAA can legislate in this area until the legal parameters become clearer", Rice said. "The reforms recommended by the Commission will be fruitless unless the NCAA gives serious attention to regulating summer programs".